Enhancing Opportunities for Socially Vulnerable Populations to have “A Seat at the Table” in Climate Resilience Planning

September 17th, 2020

Presentation Slide Deck

The report:  https://njclimateresourcecenter.rutgers.edu/resources/a-seat-at-the-table/

The training that was developed:  https://www.nj.gov/dep/climatechange/trainings/asat-about.html

Webinar Description: While all people living in the United States are affected by climate change, some communities and some populations are more vulnerable to changing climate conditions than others. Extensive research here in the United States and across the world points to populations of concern including those that are low-income, people of color, immigrant populations, people with limited English proficiency, Indigenous people, older and younger adults, people with disabilities and compromised health and mental health conditions, and others.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Coastal Management Program received a Project of Special Merit (PSM) grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of NOAA’s Resilient and Sustainable Coastal strategy. The Project of Special Merit, A Seat at the Table: Integrating the Needs and Challenges of Underrepresented and Socially Vulnerable Populations into Coastal Hazards Planning in New Jersey, was designed as a collaborative effort among the NJDEP, NOAA and the Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The project objectives were to:

This webinar is designed to introduce participants to the multiple outcomes of this project, including demonstrating the produced data tools, providing an overview of the publicly available web-based training, and offering insights to public policy options to advance systematic integration of socially vulnerable populations into climate resilience planning.



Jeanne Herb, Executive Director, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Lisa Auermuller, Assistant Manager-Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve



Jeanne Herb directs the Environmental Analysis & Communications Group at the Rutgers University Bloustein School. She leads applied research projects related to climate change, environmental health, sustainable development, coastal management, and integration of natural systems in community planning. Ms. Herb Co-Directs the NJ Climate Change Resource Center, a statutorily-established resource center, the mission of which is to carry out collaborative and interdisciplinary research, analysis, and outreach activities to help NJ adapt, mitigate, and prepare for climate change. She co-facilitates the NJ Climate Change Alliance, a statewide cross-sector collaborative of thought leaders that, for 10 years, has advanced science-informed climate policy and practice. She helps lead the Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (C2R2) Graduate Training Program, an NSF supported research traineeship program that is designed to enhance the ability of graduate students in natural sciences and engineering programs to operationalize coastal resilience from a transdisciplinary perspective.  Recently, Ms. Herb co-led a 20-month NOAA Project of Special Merit designed to advance policies and strategies that increase the engagement of socially vulnerable populations as part of climate resilience planning including the development of a web-based training program, data visualization and mapping tools, policy recommendations, and engagement of stakeholders.  Prior to joining Rutgers, Ms. Herb was Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Science at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection where she oversaw multidisciplinary science-based planning programs associated with coastal zone management, climate change, Environmental Justice, environmental health, and sustainable development.  Ms. Herb is an adjunct instructor at Rutgers, teaching a graduate course titled, Communicating Science with Decision-makers and a graduate coastal resilience community planning studio. She has a Master of Arts degree in Science and Environmental Journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with K-12 science education certification.  Ms. Herb was in the first cohort of the three-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Culture of Health Leadership Program and the second cohort of the two-year Rutgers Leadership Academy.


Lisa Auermuller is the Assistant Manager of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) in Tuckerton, NJ. She has been employed there since 2002. Lisa’s role includes assessing the needs of coastal decision makers and assembling training and technical assistance opportunities. These programs are designed to better inform decision makers through the use of science-based applied research, visualization tools and best practices. Most recently, Lisa’s primary areas of interest have coastal community vulnerability and resilience as they relate to current and future coastal hazards. Lisa has worked with a variety of partners and stakeholders to develop tools and protocols to help communities understand their risks, plan for those risks and put resiliency, mitigation and adaptation measures into place. Lisa’s work combines natural and social science aspects of the coastal decision making process

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